Quietly, on a frigid winter Wednesday, one of our favorite seasons of the year arrived.
I caught a glimpse of its herald as I skidded round our corner and headed toward our driveway.
I spy with my nearsighted eye … Honey Bells!
The bright green and orange package leaned suavely against our otherwise unadorned front porch while all around 30 mile an hour winds whipped snow past empty city streets.
“What’s this,” I thought with growing excitement as I recognized the package that arrived annually at our house. “Could it be?”
Honey bell oranges, the greatest Florida export since Gatorade, last only a brief season, usually two weeks between December and February. Recognizable by their bell shape and outie belly button, the oranges (really a hybrid of grapefruits and tangerines) produce the sweetest and most plentiful juice you’ll ever taste.
So, you can imagine my excitement when I saw the telltale box. I brushed the snow off, carefully carried the box inside the house and slowly slit it open, hoping the oranges would not be frozen solid.
Against all odds, the sweet nectar ran clear and we immediately juiced ourselves a glass.
Winter raged around us with all its frozen fury, sidewalks still needed to be cleared, windshields scraped and mittens thawed on the radiator.
But, for a brief, sunny moment as we sipped our Honey Bell juice, we tasted Florida sunshine. And it felt really good.